Unanswered Peri-Workout Carbs - Are We Overthinking This?

aaronuconn

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For those that utilize carbs pre/intraworkout, do you think we’re overthinking or spending too much on “designer” carbs (ie, HBCD, Karbolyn, etc)?

I train first thing in the morning, and over the last few months, I’ve been utilizing a carbohydrate powder typically split between pre and intra (~50g in total... typically 25 pre/25 intra). My peri-workout nutrition has been consistent over the last few months with carbs, EAA’s, creatine, and LCLT.

Month 1: HBCD
Month 2: Karbolyn
Month 3: Gatorade Powder

I can honestly say that I can’t tell a difference between any of them in regards to performance, recovery, or how well each of them “settles” in my stomach (digestion). The only difference is a significantly lighter wallet when using HBCD or Karbolyn.

Anyone else notice the same? For the time being, I’ll just stick to Gatorade Powder. Interested to hear the opposite opinion as well.
 
ValiantThor08

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My opinion. If you had sufficient carbs for dinner the night before, your glycogen stores are full, and the additional carbs you take in are just refilling your liver, and/or then being stored as fat. Muscle glycogen stores will not decrease over night. So, I believe in your case, any pre workout carb is not worth it, whether Gatorade or designer carb.
 
The Solution

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Gatorade bloats people (Since its basically pure dextrose). Dextrose is inexpensive, so that is why its easier for most to buy due to availability. Digestion is a key factor to note, and also how fast the different sources digest. Those 3 sources may not always be the best for someones stomach, and that can cause issue when trying to optimize your performance.

For example HBCD is more soluble and is absorbed more easily by the body than any other carb source, and provides a sustained increase in energy levels without causing larger spikes in the blood glucose and/or insulin levels. This may be more extreme for most, but for someone like an endurance athlete it can have a benefit, or if you do multiple sessions (2 workouts a day) on top of other forms of cardiovascular activities.

Personally for the average gym goer who just lifts 60-90 minutes a few times a week (4-5) and does some light cardio the difference will be negligible assuming a proper diet is in place. For someone who yo-yo diets or is very inconsistent with how they eat that is where it won't be easy to gauge. That is when its hard to know how effective a "Supplement" can be when nothing is consistent on a day to day basis .

There can be other situations and factors in the big picture
- Sleep
- NEAT
- Daily Work/Job
- Caloric allotment / Goal
- What time you train (First thing) compared to afternoon (Where if someone had proper food prior to training you may not need intra-workout carbs).

The real answer is .. it depends..
 
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aaronuconn

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My opinion. If you had sufficient carbs for dinner the night before, your glycogen stores are full, and the additional carbs you take in are just refilling your liver, and/or then being stored as fat. Muscle glycogen stores will not decrease over night. So, I believe in your case, any pre workout carb is not worth it, whether Gatorade or designer carb.
I respect that opinion. Not totally relevant for this thread, though :)

Gatorade bloats people (Since its basically pure dextrose). That is another reason its far cheaper. Digestion is a key factor to note, and also how fast the different sources digest.

For example HBCD is more soluble and is absorbed more easily by the body than any other carb source, and provides a sustained increase in energy levels without causing spikes in the blood glucose and/or insulin levels. This may be more extreme for most, but for someone like an enduranec athlete it can have a benefit, or if you do multiple sessions (2 workouts a day) on top of other forms of cardiovascular activities.

Personally for the average gym goer who just lifts 60-90 minutes a few times a week (4-5) and does some light cardio the difference will be negligible assuming a proper diet is in place. For someone who yo-yo diets or is very inconsistent with how they eat that is where it won't be easy to gauge. That is when its hard to know how effective a "Supplement" can be when nothing is consistent on a day to day basis .
Fair enough. So if one doesn’t have issues with digestion, and they’re your typical gym goer, seems like Gatorade Powder is a fine way to go.
 
LeanEngineer

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I think the solution nailed it. It will depend on a lot of factors as to whether pre workout carbs are necessary or not.!
 
Resolve10

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I’d agree, I think it probably doesn’t matter for most people. I think with how most people train they probably don’t even need carbs anyway.

For those who train longer, with more intensity/volume (like really not how everyone says they go “hard”), and those with training goals that require it (endurance based, performance based, etc) I still am not sure “fancy” carbs matter a ton. Once amounts get higher though taking into account how it settles and digests and playing around with measuring blood glucose levels I can see benefit.

I’d like more studies, as some preliminary stuff does seem interesting!

Personally I do seem to do better with Cyclic Dextrin, Carb10, and/or Isomaltulose with my more intense and longer sessions.
 
Ptlhains

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I used gatorade powder in the beginning and it worked great; however, I now use Karbolyn for reasons @TheSolution mentioned. However, gatorade powder is a great and super cheap option to bring your workouts to that next level.
 

aaronuconn

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I’d agree, I think it probably doesn’t matter for most people. I think with how most people train they probably don’t even need carbs anyway.

For those who train longer, with more intensity/volume (like really not how everyone says they go “hard”), and those with training goals that require it (endurance based, performance based, etc) I still am not sure “fancy” carbs matter a ton. Once amounts get higher though taking into account how it settles and digests and playing around with measuring blood glucose levels I can see benefit.

I’d like more studies, as some preliminary stuff does seem interesting!

Personally I do seem to do better with Cyclic Dextrin, Carb10, and/or Isomaltulose with my more intense and longer sessions.
For me, my training sessions are typically high volume. I have found benefit in using carbohydrate powder around my workouts, just not seeing the cost justification for using HBCD versus Gatorade powder.
I used gatorade powder in the beginning and it worked great; however, I now use Karbolyn for reasons @TheSolution mentioned. However, gatorade powder is a great and super cheap option to bring your workouts to that next level.
Agreed. I just feel for a lot of people spending money on designer carb powders, they could get pretty much the same benefit by using something cheap like Gatorade powder. Again, if you simply have digestion issues with Gatorade powder and that negatively impacts your training session, then some of the designer carbs probably make sense.
 
mpaquett

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Gatorade bloats people (Since its basically pure dextrose). Dextrose is inexpensive, so that is why its easier for most to buy due to availability. Digestion is a key factor to note, and also how fast the different sources digest. Those 3 sources may not always be the best for someones stomach, and that can cause issue when trying to optimize your performance.

For example HBCD is more soluble and is absorbed more easily by the body than any other carb source, and provides a sustained increase in energy levels without causing spikes in the blood glucose and/or insulin levels. This may be more extreme for most, but for someone like an endurance athlete it can have a benefit, or if you do multiple sessions (2 workouts a day) on top of other forms of cardiovascular activities.
How is HBCD not causing insulin spikes? Never paid any attention to it personally, but a quick digesting carb not spiking insulin doesn't make sense to me at all.


One of my good friends (RN) claimed Gatorade powder was giving him gerd.
 
Tank88

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i used HBCD for a few months and i then went back to just gatorade, i honestly can't say that i noticed a difference. i know, as mentioned above gatorade is just pure dextrose, so it's probably not that great, but i honestly can't justify paying way more for HBCD or karbolyn. As i was on a bit of a recomp the last few months, i haven't been eating carbs at night. since i also workout first thing in the morning, and i would normally feel kind of woozy waking up, but i feel the gatorade helps combat that.
 
The Solution

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How is HBCD not causing insulin spikes? Never paid any attention to it personally, but a quick digesting carb not spiking insulin doesn't make sense to me at all.


One of my good friends (RN) claimed Gatorade powder was giving him gerd.
HBCD is essentially a supplement that is designed for gradual and sustained release of energy.. While other forms of carbs provide energy (Dextrose / Karbolyn), because of its unique molecular structure. HCBD is different and lets it release energy gradually into your bloodstream that aids in keeping the levels of blood sugar and insulin in control (not as large of insulin spikes or BG Swings). Maintaining a stable glucose level is not only important for athletes but is extremely important for health too.
For example : HBCD provides a slow and steady supply of carbs to your body, which helps to keep both the blood sugar, as well as insulin levels stable and under control. This can increase the risk for incidence of type-2 diabetes or it could cause the insulin sensitivity of your body to be reduced.
 
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Resolve10

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How is HBCD not causing insulin spikes? Never paid any attention to it personally, but a quick digesting carb not spiking insulin doesn't make sense to me at all.


One of my good friends (RN) claimed Gatorade powder was giving him gerd.
Low osmalarity causes it to pass through the stomach and intestines quickly.

There’s a lower blood glucose spike and insulin spike, it is actually low glycemic, but fast gastric emptying.

Which as alluded to theoretically keeps you more “even”, decreased stomach distress, improving endurance and ratings of perceived exertion.
 
ItalOne

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This has been my go to stack for a minute. It helps me push through very intense 2 plus hour workouts not that it matters I’m 47.
https://anabolicminds.com/community/posts/6265714/ My pre workout meal!

About 20 minutes after this ^ meal. I drink my pre workout. I’m a big fan of NutraBio products they are legit as [email protected]!!

1 scoop NutraBio PRE

My intra blend consists of two other NB products and the endurance and recovery have been incredible.
1 scoop Alpha EAA’s w/ caffeine/nootropics
1 scoop of there Intra Blast

The ingredient profiles for all of these is top notch and It has allowed me to
go hard 6-7 days a week
 
Jiigzz

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The important factors are gastric emptying, intestinal absorption and the types of CHO transporters being used.

One of the best sources of CHO for pre workout is sucrose given it's glucose:fructose ratio and the types of transporters involved.
 
EMPIREMIND

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My opinion. If you had sufficient carbs for dinner the night before, your glycogen stores are full, and the additional carbs you take in are just refilling your liver, and/or then being stored as fat. Muscle glycogen stores will not decrease over night. So, I believe in your case, any pre workout carb is not worth it, whether Gatorade or designer carb.
I don’t agree. It may not be necessary, but he whole point of intra carbs is to enhance recovery when combined with a good amount of training volume and coupled with aminos. But if just carbs then you may have a valid point. I can tell you that intra carbs and aminos made my recovery so much better than compared to just aminos, which helped a lot when compared to just water.

In regard to op, if you can handle Gatorade, then go with that. Some guys even do soda like Fanta or juice and aminos. Depends on if you can handle it. For me Hbcd is the easiest on my stomach.
 
DEVANS89

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I’ve tried;
Intra MD
Carbion
Sizeon
Intracell
And Gatorade


And I can’t tell the difference...


Only the price,

And I snagged like 4/5 packs of 24
Bottles of Gatorade for £3 a pack

Because the date was coming up
On them


Throw some EAA’s into the
Mix and that’s intra sorted
 
LeanEngineer

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In regard to op, if you can handle Gatorade, then go with that. Some guys even do soda like Fanta or juice and aminos. Depends on if you can handle it. For me Hbcd is the easiest on my stomach.
Agreed. Gatorade with the aminos will be good if that works for you.
 
ChocolateClen

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Some carbs are better than others intraworkout. What you’re trying to avoid with carbs intraworkout and preworkout is a high spike in insulin which will impair glucose shuttling to your cells. Some carbs are better at preventing this than others. Depends on the modality of the workout too, for lifting there isn’t a huge worry but if you’re doing any sort of cardio competitively then you should worry about what you have. I think it’s 3-4g per kg of bodyweight 4 hours before then 1-2g/kg up to an hour before. And less than an hour it’s like 50g and some protein

This is for serious events though, your typical lifter won’t need to do this.
 
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aaronuconn

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Some carbs are better than others intraworkout. What you’re trying to avoid with carbs intraworkout and preworkout is a high spike in insulin which will impair glucose shuttling to your cells. Some carbs are better at preventing this than others. Depends on the modality of the workout too, for lifting there isn’t a huge worry but if you’re doing any sort of cardio competitively then you should worry about what you have. I think it’s 3-4g per kg of bodyweight 4 hours before then 1-2g/kg up to an hour before. And less than an hour it’s like 50g and some protein

This is for serious events though, your typical lifter won’t need to do this.
Also to note, though, is exercises impact on norepinephrine and in turn its impact on insulin.
 

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